If you can think back to the time when you were five or six, who did you think knew everything? I was five in 1950; a lot of us thought our parents knew everything, especially our fathers. In what then passed for middle class families, fathers went out to work and mothers stayed home, so fathers knew more. Maybe you thought the President of the United States knew everything, especially if you remembered FDR’s reassuring fireside chats. Maybe you thought H.V. Kaltenborn, or later, Walter Cronkite, was an omniscient voice. Maybe you though everything there was to know didn’t reside in a person, but in the Encyclopedia. Some families had their own set, for which most paid on time. Some went to the library to look up things in the Encyclopedia there. That the information was at least five years old by the time it was gathered, written up, edited, fact checked, compiled into a volume, published, distributed and sold simply didn’t register.
I was driving Archie home from day care the other day when he asked me, “Grammie, do you know Google knows everything?”
Yes, Little Man, I do.